Day 22, Week 4

This is a really early stage in pregnancy and at this point most women have not felt any differently or have not noticed any changes in their body so far. Most moms will probably complete the first month without even realising they are pregnant.

The fertilized egg from the fallopian tube has now made its way and has now reached the uterus after floating around for app. 72 hours.  The egg will find a space and implants itself onto the uterine lining. The blood vessels of the uterine lining nourish the egg and the placenta begins to form.

When to be moms miss the first period they would do the pregnancy test and then schedule a visit with the doctor.

Second time moms understand that small changes in the body can signal a pregnancy like the sensitive breasts, darkened and enlarged areola and the feeling of being slightly bloated.

Some women also do report a change in taste at this stage.

Day 23, Breast Changes in Pregnancy

If you’re experiencing some Breast changes and are wondering if this normal in pregnancy, you can heave a sigh of relief.  Breast changes are one of the first few body changes during Pregnancy. Most women may notice the changes even before undergoing a pregnancy test.

One of the first signs to watch out for is that of your breasts getting bigger. They may increase a cup size or two during the course of your pregnancy.  Breasts feel sore and tender and you would notice the Areola becomes larger and darker. Having said that, there a lot of women who don’t experience any changes in their breasts. This is also perfectly normal.

By the second trimester pregnant moms may need a change in the bra size. This size will change till almost week 35 after which it will be more stable and will change back post breast feeding.

Some moms will also experience leaking in the third trimester and this is colostrum. If there is no leaking that is nothing to be concerned about as well.

It is suggested that you wear a good supportive bra all through pregnancy and also post delivery. Make sure you pick a bra that fits you well, the cup must completely cover the breast and additionally choose cotton straps and not elastic ones so that the breasts are supported well and there is less room for a wiggle. After you try them on, bounce in them a bit and if you feel comfortable then that is the size for you. It is advisable to buy just a couple at a time and not too many as the size would change progressively. Post delivery while breast feeding do not wear under wires.

The breast size may return to pre pregnancy state at times up to three years post delivery.

It is also good that you do some chest exercises which can help prevent sagging.

Day 24, Awww Products & Services

In pregnancy women go through a whole set of different experiences both common and uncommon.

Based on a lot of research on the subject, there are certain common pain points that 80-90 percent of women go through when they are pregnant. Normally the first trimester consists of symptoms like nausea, vomiting, aversion to certain types of food, etc. In the first trimester pregnant mums are advised to seek help in terms of charting out basic pregnancy information, a well nutritious diet plan based on their eating habits and to gain access to expert information with regards to changes in their body and the growth of their baby. A good pre natal expert would be able to guide you well through the first trimester by covering these relevant topics.

The second trimester brings along a lot of physical changes in the expecting mother. From back aches, to swelling in the feet, certain physical discomforts can be taken care of with the use of simple products. For instance, a good sleeping pillow or a wedge pillow while you are seated can take care of a lot of body pains and relieve the stress on the back due to the growing belly.  Specialised Pregnancy footwear can accommodate foot swelling issues, posture problems and provide you with a good grip while walking. These products instantly create a feel good factor in expecting mothers. It is also a good idea to sign up with prenatal qualified exercise or yoga expert in order to keep your body fit during pregnancy. This also helps ease the process of labour provided your local gynaecologist deems you fit for these exercise sessions. There are also a host of maternity apparel options available to pregnant mums

Once you cross your third trimester it is important to get expert advice and health tips/tricks on labour and delivery, breastfeeding and lactation, child care and post natal care. Again here a good post natal qualified expert trainer should be able to take care of these aspects during your third trimester in pregnancy. Well, all that I have mentioned so far helps make the 9 month journey comfortable and relieves stress. There are also other fun services you could consider incase you are keen, like a baby shower or a maternity photoshoot in order to capture those pregnancy memories for a lifetime.

Go on and enjoy your pregnancy!

Day 25, The Awww Experience

I don’t know whether I am the right person to write the next few lines, since it’s only been 8 months that I gave up a job to chase my dreams. But the last 8 months have made me realise what “Brand experience” truly is. We are too early in the business to call ourselves established or big but there is something that I have learnt off in the last 6 months and I thought it would be nice to share it.

We have co founded India’s first maternity agency that caters to non medical pregnancy needs in the form of products and services before, during and post pregnancy. We address a certain need gap that currently exists in society through our services and strive to make the pregnancy journey a lot more comfortable and stress free for a couple.

The market is huge and 90 percent is unorganized in nature. When we started off we knew we were helping pregnant couples and making their lives more comfortable and in the bargain also building a business that was niche and that could potentially have a place in a $12-18 billion market.

I began meeting a few pregnant clients and co creating customised Pregnancy care plans for them as per their need. Every time I demonstrated to an Awww mum, the value of a product or service and she was convinced of the same, it was a moment of achievement. That I thought was my high point. But, there was something higher than that in store for us J If you have a good product, it doesn’t take long for someone to realise that it would provide value to them, but an experience becomes a part of one’s life. When an Awww mum or a grandmum, writes to you, blesses you and tells you how you have provided comfort to them truly, invites you over to meet them from time to time for a casual chat, walks you through their pregnancy experiences and treats you like you are part of their own family is when you begin to realise the meaning of the word “Brand Experience”.

We at Awww are glad that each and every interaction has resulted in the creation of an experience not only for the expectant mums and their families but also for us at Awww. We had always wanted to be providers of the “ Awww-some experience” but being part of it is truly blissful 🙂

Day 27, Pregnancy Tips

Pregnancy is a time to rest. It is natural for your body to feel tired and sleepy in the first few weeks. It is after all making a new life and that is hard work.

1) Visit your doctor regularly for your prenatal checkups and this will help to detect any problems at an early stage.

2) Avoid eating uncooked and non  vegetarian food outside the house. Especially stay away from sea food which comes in shells and avoid soft cheeses.

3) If you need to travel for work avoid two wheelers and auto rickshaws. A bus or train is a safer option if you cannot travel by private vehicle.

4) Pregnancy is a time to be stress free so try and relax and keep stress out of your life. If you get a lot of morning sickness and this happens throughout the pregnancy then consult with your doctor or a nutritionist to plan your meals.  Contact Awww to help you with a perfect diet and nutrition plan

5) Swelling of hands, feet and face should be reported to the doctor immediately.  Sometimes swelling in the body for eg; the feet could be perfectly normal but ensure you run it through your doctor. If the doctor seems to think its normal you could look at getting some help to make you feel a little more comforted inspite of all the swelling. For eg: You look at indulging in some relaxing pregnancy massage  sessions at home and Awww can arrange that for you right away. You could also look at purchasing the Awww special maternity footwear that is specially designed to accommodate swelling in the foot . The shoe expands and contracts as per swelling and increase in foot size and keeps the mum comfortable.

6) Understand how to count your baby’s movements and keep track of them. The movements can be a strong indicator of the baby’s well being.

7) Stretch marks and pigmentation are a normal part of pregnancy and will fade away a few weeks after the birth.  Make sure you eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Hydrating and applying a vitamin E based cream / lotion or oil will also help. Apply twice a day to abdomen breasts and buttocks starting from the 12th week. Continue this practice for six months post delivery.

8) It is natural to feel unexceptionally warm and breathless during pregnancy. If you doctor deems you fit, you should join a pregnancy class/exercise class. Exercises as suggested by your prenatal care provider can help deal with the feeling of breathlessness. However along with breathlessness if you experience chest pain, cough or severely not being able to breathe you must call your doctor immediately

9) Sleep can also become a challenge as your pregnancy progresses due to the growing weight of the uterus and the frequent urination. Invest in a good body pillow from Awww to get comfortable and restrict fluid intake closer to bedtime.

Day 28, Importance of Timely Prenatal Care

Congratulations, you’re a mom-to-be! Now that your little one is months away from your lap, it’s time to prepare for a healthy and complications-free pregnancy. And the first step towards this goal is to narrow-down on one reliable and well-qualified prenatal health care provider who will be your individualised medical care expert in the months to come. First things first –

What is Pre-Natal Care?
Pre-natal care refers to a specialised and preventive medical care regime, tailor-made for pregnant women. Since complications in pregnancy may crop up at any time, it is advisable to consult a prenatal care expert starting from the early stages of one’s pregnancy. Timely prenatal visits throughout the course of the pregnancy reduce the chances of complications going unnoticed and help in preparing the mother-to-be.

Meeting your prenatal care provider will be a learning experience as you gain valuable pregnancy information about labour and delivery, body changes and lactation, weight gain, exercise, breathing and nutrition as well as precautions to be taken during the first trimester, second trimester and third trimester, etc.

What’s more, you’ll get useful advice about –
•How to stay healthy and fit?
•Things to avoid during pregnancy
•The most suitable personalised diet for you
•The best exercise sessions for you
•The importance of breast feeding
•How to manage mood swings, and much more.

The Early Stages
During your initial visits, your doctor will perform routine tests and monitor your prevailing chronic health conditions if any; suggesting ways to control these illnesses, lest they interfere with your pregnancy. The most common chronic conditions include diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure.

As you progress through your pregnancy trimesters, there will be a series of check-ups and prenatal tests to closely monitor your baby’s growth, fetal brain development and your overall progress.

Research shows that timely and regular prenatal checks increase the chances of having a safe pregnancy, and a healthy baby.

Common Issues Faced During Pregnancy & the Help Available
As your body undergoes changes to make room for your little one, you may experience minor irritants that can become serious issues if not managed correctly.

Weight gain, stretch marks, mood swings, acne and other skin breakouts, body aches in the lower back and abdomen, swollen feet, nausea and vomiting, tiredness, etc., are quite common. The important thing is to not let these problems overwhelm you. Rather, consult your prenatal care expert on how to handle these issues.

These days, an array of pregnancy footwear, safe prenatal massages and yoga sessions are available to help you release stress and give you the relief you need!

All the best!